Blog: #Stick with it Suffolk

Perhaps one of the most appropriate proverbs for these difficult times is “Patience is a virtue.” It’s a remarkable achievement by the whole of Suffolk that, by and large, the original request by the government to stay at home, save lives and protect the NHS has been very successful. There can be no doubt this collective super-human effort is having a hugely positive role in curbing the pandemic locally and nationally.
The lockdown is now very gradually being adjusted with some minor relaxations, but currently the general advice remains; stay at home and work from there if you possibly can. That said, many people have been going to work throughout this crisis not only to look after the sick and vulnerable but also for keeping essential services going both in the private and public sectors. For this we are extremely grateful since without their commitment the difficulties we all face could have become almost insurmountable.
At the time of writing we have just had a couple of very warm days with excellent weather and everywhere looks lush and green, almost lulling you into a false sense of security that all is well. And yet, whilst there are some encouraging signs the level of infection has peaked, I don’t believe society will return to normal (whatever that might be) for some time and we need to be patient.
I’m not a particularly patient person and, like many of you, I am finding the lockdown a pretty frustrating experience. I appreciate I am fortunate to live in the countryside and can keep busy outdoors; it must be so challenging if you live in a confined space with few amenities and unable to exercise properly. If you have young children your patience is probably tested on a regular basis. In some situations family relationships are being severely tested which is sad, but perhaps inevitable.
Last week was mental health awareness week and ironically the lockdown has perhaps emphasised this year’s core message, which is kindness. This applies to home life and the workplace in equal measure and I’m sure we can all do more to be kind to each other and particularly towards those who suffer from mental ill health. Post Covid-19, perhaps we will all show each other a little more kindness and understanding, which will be no bad thing.
So, the message from government – which I support, is to stick with it and summed up by “Stay alert, control the virus and save lives.” Maybe the attention to hand washing will become as routine as fastening your seatbelts in the car – for most of a reflex action.
As and when the lockdown eases, we must deploy our common sense and play our part in keeping society safe. Our police force has faced a difficult task enforcing the public health advice, but they have risen to the challenge with flying colours.
So, as we carve out the journey back towards normality I suspect some behaviours may change for a very long time, such as wearing facemasks and social distancing in the workplace. This too will require patience.
Ultimately, the advice is there for good reason and that is to minimise the risk of infection so please for everyone’s sake in Suffolk sign up to the “Stick with it Suffolk” campaign and do it!

Published in the East Anglian Daily Times    April 2020